Friday, January 15, 2010

Day Fifteen: Haiti

Last week over 100,000+ people died tragically. Last week, not just this week. I'm not talking about earthquakes. Projections show that around 25,000 people die every day from simple to fix causes like starvation, lack of clean drinking water, easily curable or preventable diseases like malaria. I have really been reflecting on the horrible tragedy in Haiti and praying for the people who are suffering there. But more than that, I've been reflecting on our response.

When we are confronted with those kinds of graphic images and vivid descriptions on every channel we turn to, we are moved into action. Prayer, generosity, involvement, compassion. When it all happens at once in one place where we can write a one-time check, we're in. But the truth is Compassion International, Children's Hunger Fund, Doctors Without Borders, Samaritan's Purse, and countless other organizations were already there. Because there were people suffering in Haiti last week too.

What can we do to respond to the suffering and hurting and dying every day, not just when it makes the news? How can we feel the plight of the lost and broken world at times when there aren't natural disasters? Why do we insulate our lives from feeling their pain? Why do we change the channel when the commercials with starving orphan babies covered in flies come on? What can we do to rescue the 100,000+ people who are going to die without Jesus next week?

I'm going to be perfectly honest and tell you that as recently as about a year and a half ago, I didn't care about foreign missions and compassion efforts. I would tell you I did since it's not only the Christian thing to say but also the good American citizen thing to say. But if you did an audit of my life, there would be no evidence whatsoever. So, after reading the little book The Treasure Principle, I decided to lead my heart there by sending my money there. The gateway drug for us was sponsoring kids through Compassion. Next we started sponsoring a missionary that we knew personally. Then we tagged on a monthly offering to Children's Hunger Fund (that one mainly to honor the impact Francis Chan's church has made on our hearts). And guess what? Jesus was right. Our heart was where our treasure was. We started praying, writing letters, reading more, and getting involved in other ways. And now look at us. We're completely addicted and strung out on foster kids. :)

The deal is, you have to put a name and face on the cause. You can't sit at home with the curtains drawn and care. We have two little girls to look at every day that remind us. And photos of little Burkinabe children by our beds. That has us messed up in the best possible way.

Lord, I pray that You will mess us up real good. Take our hearts out and drag them all through the lives that are lost and broken. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours. Let us feel an urgency to rescue lost souls every day, not just when we see their faces on the news. Open our eyes to the plight of those around us who desperately need You.


Bea said...

Another way to 'get hooked' is to go where they are, to see how they live, to see what they don't have, yet see the contentment in them, the lack of 'stuff' in their lives. The first time I looked into the eyes of a room full (The room was crowded,small,hot,smelly,& thick with mosquitos, yet no one ever complained) of shining, smiling little faces in India as they were excitedly 'glued' to "The Little Monkey" story, I knew I had to be a part of telling them about Jesus. God allowed me to capture that moment in a photo which reminds me daily of the 1000's of others who have not heard about Jesus yet!

Bea said...

I also felt the same felling recently in Israel---the same serious need for Jesus, the need for safety, food and physical comfort. We have found one man we can help in his ministry there, and are looking for more. There are more to be found and helped. God has a precious remnant there spreading the Gospel and we want to be a part of that as well. They need our prayer covering and finicial & physical help.